GroveStage Testimonials

Dear Friends of GableStage/GroveStage,

We are beyond grateful for the incredible support we continue to receive from our community each and every day. It’s because of you, and with your strong commitment to the Coconut Grove Playhouse revival project that we continue moving forward! Together, we have made tremendous progress and are on track to re-open our beloved theater by 2022, as required by the lease!

Below, please see the scores of testimonials we’ve received demonstrating the depth of support we enjoy in our community!

For additional endorsements from the members of theater community and other prominent national leaders, please visit: https://miamidadearts.org/gablestage-endorsements

If you support GableStage/GroveStage and our plan to bring great theater to the iconic Coconut Grove Playhouse, please submit your statement of support here: http://www.gablestage.org/testimonial. We will then proudly display it here, on this page.

With heartfelt thanks and much appreciation,

Joe

Joseph Adler
Producing Artistic Director
GableStage / GroveStage

Michael Putney, senior political television reporter and columnist, based in Miami, and winner of two Emmy Awards.
“Joe Adler is a brilliant director and a legend in South Florida theater. His work at GableStage is consistently excellent. I support him and Miami-Dade’s efforts to rebuild the Coconut Grove Playhouse, which is sorely missed.
Joe and his team can do this. It’s way overdue. I’m in total support.”
Rabbi Solomon Schiff, Director Emeritus of Mishkan Miami and Executive Vice President Emeritus of the Rabbinical Association of Greater Miami, having served both organizations for more than 40 years.
“We know that with the capable leadership of Joseph Adler, whose many years of producing great theater, GroveStage will elevate the status of theatrical performances to new heights in our community.”
– Rabbi Solomon and Shirley Schiff
Rosa Sugrañes, Founder of IBERIA Tiles and Miami Resident
“I fully support the efforts of Miami-Dade County and FIU to put GableStage and Joe Adler in charge of the new Coconut Grove Playhouse.
I trust on Joseph Adler’s amazing trajectory of bringing to Miami the most cutting edge theater open one can imagine.
I also trust the capacity of Miami-Dade County and its cultural affairs department in managing the construction necessary to bring back the theater.
I think the amazing partnership with FIU can only increase the success of this endeavor.”
Margery Lowe, Member AEA,SAG,AFTRA, CAEA
“I have worked with Joe Adler at GableStage, as well as at the historic Coconut Grove Playhouse, and I can say from personal experience that this is the perfect fit for what will become GroveStage! I have full confidence that the smaller sized proposal will assure that houses are full and well-attended, and keep tickets in a constant demand. There is so much excitement and belief in this new addition to the South Florida artistic landscape! It both honors the legacy and integrity of the Grove’s Playhouse, while still keeping a forward-moving artistic vision, with a realistic and well-prepared plan for its full potential of success. Thank you for allowing me and so many of my fellow artists here and across the country to support this exciting new venture in South Florida!!”
Prof. Haim Shaked, professor in the department of international studies and the director of the Sue and Leonard Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at the University of Miami.
“Dear Joe,
For twenty years, my wife and I have attended almost all plays that you produced at GableStage. We are ardent theater lovers and we have seen performances in NY, London and other theater capitals. In my capacity as Director of the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies, we have collaborated on a number of important productions and will gladly continue to do that in the
future.
Your productions are outstanding in comparison to the above. Many of these productions exceeded the quality of Broadway plays.
We fully support your efforts to revive the Coconut Grove theater. This will be a great cultural uplift for Miami and will enable you – and the whole theater going community – to enjoy a state of the art theatrical facility. You already constitute a cultural gem. With the new facility, Miami will gain a cultural diamond.
We wish you well with this endeavor and you can count on our support all the way. Onward and upward!”
Patrick O Shea, producer in New York and London with a 30-year career in the performing arts.
Al Alschuler
“Joseph Adler’s deft direction not only distinguished several notable Players State Theatre presentations at the historic Coconut Grove Playhouse in the late 1970s, but also others produced by the Players Repertory Company, its predecessor, at Miami’s former Museum of Science. As an involved member of both Boards, I did not miss a single production; nor have I missed any of his provocative plays since GableStage’s first season at The Biltmore. Joe’s exceptional proficiency and integrity are rightfully prized by South Florida’s discerning cultural community.
I look forward to fulfilling Joe Adler’s enduring vision at an invigorated GroveStage, suitably sized for its setting, and I totally support the Coconut Grove Playhouse Project as – finally! – approved by our City’s Planning, Zoning and Appeals Board.”
Steven Dloogoff, Coconut Grove Resident for 31 yeas and member of the Coconut Grove Village Council
“The last time I attended a performance at the CGPH was April 28, 2006.
I support all the work of Michael Spring, Joe Adler, FIU and the entire team working on the NEW CGPH.
Let’s get it open and CG proud to have the CGPH open again!
Gene Columbus, Executive Director at Orlando Repertory Theatre
“Prior to joining Orlando Repertory Theatre as Executive Director I spent 38 years as part of Walt Disney World Entertainment. As I think back over the years the number of gifted performers that listed the Coconut Grove on their resumes it makes me joyful to know that the GroveStage will be filling in that spot. In addition I was an adjunct professor at UCF where hundreds of student are receiving training in theatre. There continues to be a great need for the world to have theatre to tell stories and help guide our lives particularly young people.
Thanks to Joseph Adler and his team for ensuring that their community will have quality theatre which is very much part of having a quality life. Thank you!”
Terrie Temkin
“I am an avid theater-goer. I probably see an average of 45 – 55 shows a year at the megalopolis’ regional professional theaters. I am 100% behind the new “GroveStage,” as conceived by the collaboration of Miami-Dade County, FIU, and GableStage.
Joe Adler, the proposed producing artistic director for GroveStage, is brilliant at what he does, identifying and producing thought-provoking theater that fills the seats while responsibly operating in the black. This can’t be said about many directors or theaters. I’ve seen a lot go out over the years. If Joe Adler believes in this project, I do, too.
Miami-Dade County’s Michael Spring has been in his position at least as long as I’ve lived in the area, which is over 30 years. I would say that no one else has the accumulated knowledge of the arts in Miami-Dade County that he does. So, when he comes out in favor of this project, I do, too.
Today, art venues are increasingly relying on partnerships with universities for sustainability. This is particularly seen in the museum world, but is equally applicable for live theater, which at best can rely on ticket sales for only 40% of its budget. FIU has experience with this sort of collaboration – e.g., The Wolfsonian and the Frost Art Museum. If it believes in this project, I do, too.
I know that there are those who believe the size of the theater being proposed is too small – that 700 or 750 seats is the only way to go. Again, I attend a lot of theater. The ability to consistently fill a theater of that size is unlikely. Some of the smallest theaters (under 100 seats) can’t sell out a run. We have three large theaters in the tri-county area plus the Miami-Dade Auditorium and the Miracle
Theater (the latter two within easy driving distance to Coconut Grove). If a particular show is deemed to have the ability to sell out a 750 theater, let the producer rent one of those facilities. Building a theater with 750 seats that will, given past experience, fail to consistently sell out is a recipe for failure.
I know that some people feel that they will “lose” something “historic” if the GroveStage goes forward. The plans for the GroveStage incorporate the “historic” face. There was nothing “historic” about the rest of the building. It was extremely ordinary, reflecting its original life as a movie house. Let one of Miami’s most talented architectural firms design something that will be iconic for this
generation.
Finally, the plans for the GroveStage left the station a long time ago and are far down the track. Let it continue on its journey. Holding it up where it is now will doom the project for my life-time, if not forever.”
Frances Aronovitz
“GableStage offers among the best cutting edge productions available in South Florida. Joe Adler is a Miami treasure. I fully support the proposed plans for GableStage, working with Miami-Dade County and FIU, to reopen as GroveStage in the former and reconstructed setting of the Coconut Grove Playhouse. GroveStage will offer residents, visitors, theater students and aficionados the opportunity to witness and participate in these fine productions and will help to revitalize the Grove itself, while maintaining respect for the former, and now defunct, Playhouse.”
Mary Taranto
“I moved to Florida from Connecticut where I was fortunate to have Broadway, the Long Wharf Theater and Yale Rep in my back yard…
I don’t know what I would do without GableStage. It has been our GO TO for good theater since we moved here 10 years ago.
I am anxiously waiting to buy my subscription to GroveStage!!”
Stephen J. Parsons, CFRE
“Joe Adler is the best in the business. He’s had the most consistent Theatre company in South Florida for decades. His direction has won numerous awards and his choice of Theatre is exciting and cutting edge. He brings the best of off-Broadway to South Florida regularly. We’re fortunate to have JO in this community and look forward to the cultural life that he will bring back to Coconut Grove! I hope he gets the support and backing that he and the company deserve and have earned. Many thanks.”
Kurt Liphardt
“GableStage is one of the best theatre companies in South Florida. The quality and professionalism is always outstanding and their support for the community is unmatched.
I believe the Coconut Grove Playhouse will be the absolute perfect match and much needed upgrade for GableStage.”
Stephen Neal
“I started working at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in 1986 when Jose Ferrer was still serving as artistic director for a dollar a year. Over the years I worked as assistant props master, did staged readings, worked as a carpenter in the scene shop, helped hang and focus lights, served on the running crew for On the 20th Century, stage managed a show in the Encore Room and attended many first rate (and a few not so great) performances. It is extremely disheartening as a performer or an audience member to look out into the audience and see so many
empty seats. We cancelled more than one performance of a show in the Encore Room because the cast of five outnumbered the audience. I loved every minute of the time and energy I spent at the Playhouse. I treasure the friendships that began and flourished there.
I am also a preservationist at heart. I have helped in the restoration of a few buildings in my time and I know that there is great pride to be had when hard work and dedication can salvage and restore an antique or an historical building. But I also recognize when its time to cut bait. It is my sincere belief that the current plan is on track to offer the best of both worlds. It preserves the unique and historic facade that is the the very symbol of The Coconut Grove Playhouse, but offers South Florida and national audiences and theatre artists alike, a state of the art, 300 seat theatre with a sound financial plan and artistic future to back it up. This plan can take that great name and rich artistic history to the next level of national prominence. Having worked there and attended many productions over the years, I believe the stage house, dressing rooms (with the single rest room at the end of a long hallway) costume shop and the loading dock are not worth salvaging. Theatre is by its very nature ephemeral, like Native American sand paintings or Buddhist sand mandalas. Let’s consign the glory days of the old playhouse to where they belong – to nostalgia, history and the memories of those who lived them. At the same time let’s unite behind this practical and well thought-out plan that reveres the past and move forward together!”
Carol Kassie
“I thoroughly support the Coconut Grove Playhouse/GroveStage project. GableStage and Joe Adler together currently create great theatre for South Florida – they are the perfect combination of talent, knowledge, expertise, and passion to create a venue that will be right not only for Miami-Dade, but for the entire South Florida Cultural Community.”
Mary Ellen Peyton
“What Joe Adler has done with GableStage productions over the years has been incredible. I do not think my husband and I have ever missed a show. Everyone is special, creative and enjoyable. It gives us, as the audience, AND the actors a chance to enjoy a new, creative production. Thank you, Joe.”
Nathaniel Cadle
“In order to understand their own histories fully, communities need to preserve their cultural institutions as well as to expand their legacy. This project does just that.”
Barry A Friedfeld
“My wife and I have been permanent residents of Florida for 10 years. Shortly after moving here we were introduced to GableStage and have been yearly subscribers ever since. For each of the plays, we drive from Boynton Beach which is approximately a 3 hour round trip. While in the area, we often will either go to a restaurant before or after the play for either dinner or lunch. Often we bring guests to enjoy the plays with us. We support the GableStage because it offers performances of very thought provoking both domestic and world social
issues that need to be addressed. By performing these plays at the GableStage, it brings an awareness of these issues to South Florida. This awareness is greater than the audiences who see and talk about the performance as nearly all the local media will give a review of the play for their readership.
– Barry and Judy Friedfeld”
Chere Sampson
“We are so fortunate to have dedicated people who give their time and effort to preserving the amazing history of the iconic Coconut Grove Playhouse. Also very grateful for the support from Miami-Dade County and FIU. Makes me proud of my Alma Mater.
Hopeful that Coconut Grove Playhouse past glory will be carried forward to the new GroveStage.
Thank you,
Chere Sampson”
Clark Nobil
“Under Joe Adler’s inspiring leadership, dedication to theatrical excellence, and ingenious outreach programs to area youths, GableStage has emerged as a leading contender for the crown of most successful regional playhouse in the South. And, quite admirably, Adler’s accomplished this feat while keeping ticket prices much below production costs. The FIU / GableStage project will reap huge financial dividends for both the City of Miami and the County in coming years.”
Michelle Gersten
“I have been attending since before it was GableStage, and think this is the best local theater I have experienced in Miami, consistently for 30 years. GableStage is a gem!”
Lisa and Charles Treister
“We have supported GableStage from its inception as the cream of the crop of local theater companies. We are thrilled that Joe Adler is one more step closer to reigniting Miami’s very best venue for live dramatic productions. And as long-time Coconut Grove residents, we are eager for GroveStage to take its rightful place in our village center. Let’s get this show on the road already, please!”
Jim & Cecelia Mooney
“We have been annual subscribers to the GableStage for almost 15 years. We continue our partnership because of our appreciation of quality professional theatre and the wonderful productions we have experienced at the GableStage over the years. We have seen a lot of off Broadway theatre and the GableStage is equal to if not better than the productions we have seen in NY and else where. A dynamic community must be able to support quality professional theatre and GableStage offers that opportunity. Joe Adler and his staff and the wonderful
actors and technicians he assembles for each play is a special treat for us and provides an important contribution to the preservation of the arts in this community. Knowing that this production company will continue and enhance their excellent work with the Grove Theater should gladden the hearts of all theater goers.”
Niki Marcus
“Our entire family- spanning three generations- absolutely loves the choice of repertoire & caliber of performance at GableStage. Our sons (ages 11 & 15) have let us know that they want the portion of their weekly allowance that is dedicated to charitable giving to go directly to this theater~ that is how moved and affected they both have been by the performances we have seen together as a family. Their grandparents also thoroughly enjoy these nights of experiencing provocative drama all together. Our car-rides home from the theater are abuzz across children, parents, and grandparents with discussion about the play’s themes, political and social implications, and a wide range of differing interpretations. In this day and age of such struggle in our world, having the GableStage as a space to bring our entire community together for thought provoking art is nothing short of a true blessing. Thank you, GableStage, for shining the light.”
Richard Toren
“As Coconut Grove continues its great comeback as a village with character, adding a high-end live-theater will only enhance the image and experiences in this important area of Miami-Dade County. There are many examples around the US where great theater catalyses the growth and quality of neighborhoods. Arena Stage, Wooley Mammouth, and Studio Theater are great examples of this phenom in Washington, D.C. Many neighborhoods in NYC, where off-Broadway theaters can be responsible for improving their neighborhoods. GableStage has enjoyed popularity for small, high quality live theater for many years in Coral Gables, but was in a isolated venue that couldn’t drive a change in neighboring real estate. Moving to Coconut Grove will have a profound effect on this wonderful Village and we should all look forward to its arrival.”
Judith Farber
“I have been a season subscriber to GableStage for the past five years. I always look forward to the upcoming show knowing it will be the best performance. The plays are always thought provoking, the acting the highest quality and an overall lovely experience. Thank you Joseph Adler and company. Looking forward to more shows in Coconut Grove!”
Carlos Malamud
“I moved to Miami from San Diego, California. San Diego has great theater, some of the very fine venues are: The Old Globe, La Jolla Rep, San Diego Rep, Cygnet, Diversionary and 6th at Penn. It’s very nice to see in Miami, GableStage, Zoetic and the Micro Teatro.
I applaud Joe, his team and supporters, to take theater to a more important level in Miami.”
Jane Moscowitz
“We attend GableStage performances at least 3 times every season. I cannot think of one that I didn’t find worthwhile, and many were simply great. The acting is uniformly excellent. It is the ability to see the facial expressions of the actors that adds so much. I believe the plans for GroveStage will maintain the excellence that Joe Adler has brought to GableStage.”
Beverley Markowitz
“Hello, I felt I had to write to let you know how much I support your move to the new GroveStage.
The renewal of the old Coconut Grove Playhouse is sooo welcome and I can’t wait to see your performances at the new venue.
Please know that I am pleased to lend my support in any way I can and cannot wait for the new season to begin in Coconut Grove. It’s a win-win for everyone – finally — a lovely venue for GableStage, a new/old theatre in the Grove and more ancillary business and income for all the businesses and restaurants there.
Thank you, Joe et al, for all you do.
Jeanine Goodstein
“Joseph Adler and the arts is a huge part of what makes this city worth staying in. Miami became a place many people run away from, instead because of people like Joe Adler and the wonderful arts in this community, people are running to Miami and it is and has become a place where dreams are made of. Our history is vital to this process.
Thank you Joe for saving the beautiful Coconut Grove playhouse. It was a huge part of my childhood and truly a part of what created my love of the Arts.”
Susan Doucha
“I have been a supporter and patron of GableStage ever since they opened and can’t say enough positive things about it and Joe Adler. They bring the highest quality of work to Miami and are unlike any other local theater company. We have all been very excited about the prospect of them moving to the Coconut Grove Playhouse and are saddened and distressed by what is happening now. I truly hope that the original plans will be able to take affect so that this renowned theatrical company will be able to be shared with more theater patrons in our county.”
Frank J. Pearl, MD, FACC, FCCP, FACP
Voluntary Professor of Medicine
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

“We feel that GableStage is hands down the optimal theater experience in South Florida. The theater itself is small and intimate. The quality of the shows has been superb. The acting is excellent and the subject matter is always thought provoking. Hopefully a similar experience will continue after the move to Coconut Grove.
Dr. and Mrs. Frank Pearl”
Phyllis Resnick
“The Coconut Grove Playhouse could have no better resident theater than GableStage!!!
Joe Adler is just the best—in every way! I write in support of the project to renovate, build and do everything possible to bring the GableStage and Joe to Coconut Grove!!”
Harvey J. Burstein
“As a life long supporter of theater, I am very excited for the reopening of the Coconut Grove Playhouse as GroveStage. We are very fortunate to have Joseph Adler as Producing Artistic Director with his many years of success.”
Sandra Heros
“Mr Adler, I applaud your efforts to bring theatre once again to our historical Coconut Grove Playhouse. I am in full support of your
project and bringing together the wonderful productions of the GableStage into a renovated with state of the art technology Grove playhouse. You can count on me to be a subscriber of the GroveStage theatre.”
Dr Gloria Waldman
“I am a retired phd in theatre, professor at Cuny and visiting professor and journalist in Puerto Rico for many years. I am also a snowbird and in Boynton Beach and finally, after 10 years, I was thrilled to finally get to a performance at The Gables last season. I loved the theatre, the play, the acting, the staging, the more than friendly Gables team and the appreciative audience. I decided to buy
a subscription and schlep from Boynton Beach just to support this absolutely professional and charming theatre!
Professionals and theatre lovers alike will be stimulated and delighted by the excellence that GableStage brings to the community and beyond.”
Renee Lieberman
“We have been subscribers and supporters of GableStage for many years. We like what they offer, and the selection of plays that we’ve seen. They are innovative and very professional. We look forward to attending the new theater at the Coconut Grove Playhouse.
– Renee & David Lieberman”
Faye Albert
“GableStage subscriber for many years and have thoroughly enjoyed the plays. I’m looking forward to continuing to support GableStage at their new venue at the old Coconut Grove Theater!”
Sondra Berlowe
“My husband and I had season tickets for Coconut Grove Playhouse from 1961 until it went permanently dark. How sad it was to see it go. The new playhouse would not only be great for the wonderful theater it will bring, but it would revitalize Coconut Grove, bringing back theater lovers as well as restaurant business to the area – automatically bringing business in general back to the Grove. It can’t miss.”
Lois Model Rukeyser
“Dear Joe, Merci, Merci Beaucoup for your strength and your dedicated commitment that you have For our Future Grove Theatre.
You have already shown the vast amount of time you have spent in making Grove Theatre a wonderful Reality. All the Best, Lois Rukeyser. Gerald Halpern”
Wendy Sager Pomerantz
“I am a strong supporter of GableStage’s plan for recreating the Coconut Grove Playhouse. Joe Adler has the vision, the experience and the know-how to make GroveStage a reality.”
Mitchell Lieberman
“Great job all around – you are a dedicated group of people doing an incredible job – thanks for everything.”
Ken Krasney
“This is probably the best regional theater company I’ve experienced. The productions are always well acted, beautifully produced and the choice of plays performed is outstanding. Theater at its best.”
Alan Stein
“I enjoyed the Coconut Grove Playhouse presentations for decades before it closed. I have looked forward to its resurrection, now for what seems like more decades. I’m thrilled that Joe Adler, Miami-Dade county, and FIU have developed a workable plan for its restoration. The current plan is scaled for success! The theater size Parking solution, and multiple space utilization seem like the “Goldilocks” happy median. All the best to all of the partners.”
Pamela Salem
“I have followed your uphill struggle to recreate the Coconut Grove Playhouse, and have lent my voice at one of the meetings with those trying to oppose you. I congratulate you and all those who support you for persevering through thick and thin. The successful end is now in sight. Bravo!!”
ADRIENNE I CHIRON
“I have been in Miami for 45 years. Enjoyed the VILLAGE of Coconut Grove as did my children. Loved the theatre, a piece of history. Went into the travel business to encourage people to visit historic places; especially, to enjoy the ambiance to the Grove and the fabulous well chosen plays in the Coconut Grove theatre. I want to see the theatre to thrive again but not as a modern icon instead of a piece of history. The Grove is quickly being destroyed by the Council members and outsiders. I worked with Joe Adler in New York City years ago, and if anyone can bring back theatre it is he. Don’t destroy history with this horrible example of a “mall.” Let Joe bring back the theatre as is and build parking and that is it!!!”
Joe Cresci
“It’s what I remember from childhood and sorely missed as it stands today, I applaud Joe Adler for his commitment to bring the Playhouse back and look forward to his excellent theatre right here in the Grove.”
Norma Seegal
“Have attended performances for years and years. Presents consistently first class performances and is an incredible asset to our Theater community.”
Marsha Deakter
“I am in full support of the GableStage and Joe Adler re-creating his wonderful theater at the old Coconut Grove Playhouse .. I am very excited about this move!”
Marj O’Neill-Butler
“GableStage is one of the top professional theatres in S. Florida. I know they will bring the same quality to the refurbished Coconut Grove Playhouse.”
Barbara Lipcon
“I am very much in favor of getting the closed theater up and running ASAP. We enjoyed it for as long as it was there and will help support it again.”
Charles J. Cassini
“What a boon it would be for the area to have this historic landmark back to doing what it was designed for. If approved, I’d even become an unpaid volunteer as a way of contributing to its success.”
Lourdes Luis
“I look forward to the opening of this venue! It’s very exciting to have a local theater coming soon.”
Alex Edelman
“great shows keep up the good work”
Lucia Davis Raiford
“I support GableStage!”